Day: August 6th
This Friday (in 2021), we celebrate the feast day of the Transfiguration. We hear this story every year on the 2nd Sunday of Lent (a fitting preparation, as it was in Jesus’ life, for His going up to Jerusalem and entering His Passion and Resurrection), and, on August 6th each year. Resuming our “bible study” that I wanted to do during these summer months, today I want to turn to this marvelous scene. Changing up things slightly, I want to just invite all of us together into a prayerful meditation on this passage.
During my mission trip to Costa Rica in July, each day we did a Holy Hour together and joined in meditating on a consecutive scene from Jesus’ life. This kind of prayer offered profound insight into Our Lord, and His continued friendship with us, and was a source of tremendous joy as, each evening, we shared with each other the graces of the day. So, don’t just read the below lines these week, pray them. The prayers below are my own. Yours does not have to be the same. Take what strikes your heart, speak to God as He moves You to speak, and simply remain with Him.
Jesus, I know that You are with me. [Take a deep breath. Give yourself space, and peace, and quiet.] Right now, Jesus, I turn to You and recognize Your promised presence with me. I do not come to get anything, or to receive any answer, or to fix any problem … I just want to be with You. I want to grow in intimacy with You. I want to receive Your love. And, I want to love You in return. [Take another deep breath. Let Jesus love you.]
Open my mind Lord, to Your words that I will reflect upon today. Open my heart to Your love, especially as You show it in Your transfiguration. Open my eyes to see how You reveal Yourself in this passage. Come Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit. [Open your bible to Mark 9:2-8, and just let the lines wash over you. Below is the movements that Jesus brought about in my heart.]
Jesus … led them up a high mountain. Jesus, I want to be invited close to You like that. Why just Peter, James, and John? Why not everybody else? Did You know their hearts, and knew which apostles would need that particular grace? Peter, who would deny You; John, who would see You crucified; James, who would be the first to be martyred for Your name. Of course, You knew what they would need! And You know me just the same!
Jesus … was transfigured before them. You have shown Your glory and loveliness to me, haven’t You?! Like last week during my Holy Hour: just Your gentle encouragement. Or on the mission trip, when You sustained me through that atrociously hot Eucharistic procession. Or, even here today, as I know Your Presence in the tabernacle: the host, white, gleaming, simple, but transcendent.
Peter said … let us make three booths … for they were exceedingly afraid. Oh, fear. I did not want to talk about fear today. Do we have to go there? Yes, of course, I should bring it to You, but it feels so wimpy to approach You with all my fears and uncertainties… Then again, I suppose that is why You came to us anyway, to be with us in our fears. To love us through them, not just despite them. So yeah, that meeting later today, and that liturgy with bishop … there is a bit of fear there. What if I do not know what to say? What if I forget something? Then again, Your love is not going anywhere is it?
This is My beloved Son, listen to Him. I am so distracted Heavenly Father. There are so many things that fill my mind and heart, and it is so hard to hear Your Son’s voice. I want to hear it. I yearn to hear it. I desire to hear it. How can I hear Him better? Ok, scripture is obvious. I can give myself more time to ponder Your words there. Oh, the words of the Mass. Of course, so many of Jesus’ words are right there when I pray them; I can be more intentional. And, my friends, the best of them are the ones that constantly offer me glimpses of Jesus’ voice, couldn’t I stop and listen to them with more attentiveness?
And suddenly looking around they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only. And Who else would I need? If I have Your friendship Jesus, I can rest happy. If I know You, that is enough. If You love me, and if you are with me, what else matters?
Lord, I want some takeaway from my prayer today. Where are You inviting me? [Give Him time to speak to your heart.] Ah, resting in Your friendship. I can choose peace knowing Your love. Thank you Lord! [It could be a very different movement for you. That is good. Each of us is having a conversation with God, it should not look the same!]
– Fr. Dominic Rankin has long since had a particular love for the transfiguration. It became his favorite mystery of the rosary when Pope St. John Paul II added it along with the other mysteries of light, to the traditional joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries in 2002. Not discounting any of the other mysteries, but mountain tops, apparitions of saints, God’s voice from heaven, and Jesus appearing in glory just had a way of capturing my 9 year old heart.